Choi hangs on to win season-ending Titleholders


Na Yeon Choi can expand her budget when she goes house hunting in Orlando this week.

The 2012 U.S. Women’s Open champion held off a valiant challenge from Rookie of the Year So Yeon Ryu to win the season-ending CME Group Titleholders on Sunday in Naples, Fla.

Choi closed with 70 to finish at 14-under 274, two shots clear of Ryu (70) at TwinEagles Golf Club. Brittany Lincicome (70) was third, three shots behind.

With the victory, Choi earned her second title of the season and a first-place check of $500,000, the second-largest payout of the year on the LPGA. That’s good timing – Choi was already scheduled to be in Orlando on Monday to shop for a new house, likely in the Isleworth community. Now, she can splurge for a few upgrades.

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“I’m really happy how I played this season,” said Choi, after her seventh career title. “I think I can have a good vacation. I think I deserve it.”

Tied at 13 under, Ryu three-putted the par-5 14th to fall back, then dropped two shots behind when Choi birdied the short 16th.

Inbee Park closed with 70 and wrapped up the LPGA money title as well as the Vare Trophy, awarded to the player with the lowest scoring average (70.21). Last week, Stacy Lewis became the first American since 1994 to capture Player of the Year honors.

“They are both really important and both mean a lot to me,” said Park, a two-time winner this season, “but the Vare Trophy is tougher to win. Until the last round here, I couldn’t relax.”